speed up WordPress site

 

WordPress database stores all your posts, comments, links, pages, themes and plugin settings. Updating your website every day increases the database size and affects your site performance since it takes longer time for your server to retrieve information from database tables. You can speed up WordPress by removing unnecessary data. There are 11 core tables in WordPress as of now and may change in the updated versions in near future. You can check this out in Database Description page on WordPress for more information.

Speed up WordPress

 

speed up WordPress site

Site speed is one of the important factors of SEO and is considered as one of the ranking factors. Many blogs and websites use WordPress, as it is easy to create without knowing much about the coding knowledge. But if you do not optimize your site, it will add Bloat to your WordPress database and makes your site slow. One of the main reasons for high bounce rates is Page Load Time. Recent surveys suggest that more than 40% people leave the site if page loading takes more than 4 seconds. Installing SEO plugins will also help you to rank higher along with speeding up WordPress site. You can see my site load time is 1.3 seconds

Speed Report

How to test my site speed?

There are some popular websites to test your website. Some of them are listed below.

Pingdom
GTmetrix
PageSpeed Insights

Hosting

Hosting plays a huge role in defining site speed and depends on the kind of servers we choose. Newcomers usually share a single hosting site where they share space with other people which might cause problems during peak traffic. Though many hosting sites provide dedicated hosting and cloud hosting, cost of which is high and prompts people to choose shared hosting. Using shared hosting is fine if you want to start a personal blog, but if your site traffic increases every day then you might need to choose other options like cloud hosting which will not affect your site performance. Bluehost is one of the best hosting sites which is used by professional bloggers which is quite cheap, reliable and the support is also great.

Choosing the Right Theme/ Framework

WordPress offers a lot of good themes in terms of visual appearance, but are they really well coded? There are many themes that will slow down your site. You need to choose the right one which look good and loads faster. Disable additional features which will impact your site in the theme if they are not required. Choose a theme which is simple and this will reduce PHP and javascript problems. If you want to choose a free theme, I would recommend “Twenty Fifteen” or “Decent” since both are good themes with light framework.

Which Plugins Are Slowing Down Your Site?

P3 profiler is one of the best WordPress diagnostic Plugin which shows the plugins responsible for slowing down your website. check the plugins which take more time to load and affect your website speed. Replace such plugins with others which do the same job with less load time.

P3

 

Optimize images

WP Smush

Articles with images look good and help you to attract new visitors every day through image search. They should be optimized so that your site speed would not get affected because of larger image size. There are a few plugins to speed up WordPress site in order to optimize the size without losing quality of the images. Use images with proper size and scale them with HTML. WP Smush and EWWW Image Optimizer are the two plugins that will help you in optimizing images.

Cache Plugin

Cache Plugin will reduce load time on your server and helps speed up WordPress site by creating a static html file. Every time a visitor enters your site, it will request the server which will send data and creates load on the server. This will increase the load on CPU and slows down the speed of the site. By installing a cache plugin you can help speed up your site. WP Fastest cache and W3 Total Cache are the best cache plugins. You can reduce HTTP requests by combining javascript and CSS files with the help of cache plugin and speed up WordPress site.

Content Delivery network

CDN

CDN is one of the easiest ways to improve your site speed. If enabled, When a visitor requests your site, it will be served by the closest server location instead of the main data center of your hosting. CloudFlare is free for everyone and you can add your website in Cpanel to speed up WordPress site. Activate CloudFlare CDN from Control panel or you can add your website in CloudFlare.

Optimize Your Homepage

Optimizing your homepage will reduce load on your site and increases the speed of the site. Instead of showing full-length posts show excerpts. Display medium size thumbnails in featured images and remove unnecessary widgets, footers and plugins. Display less number of posts on the page, minimum 3- maximum 5.

Disable Post Revisions

Revisions

WordPress stores a copy of every draft and update of your blog post. It is useful when you want to go back to the old copy of your article. It will increase your database size and there is no limitation on the number of revisions saved. So if you revise your article multiple times, it will store all the updated versions of your article. To avoid this, reduce the number of revisions/updates. Add the code to your WP-config.php file and define the number of revisions you want to save. You can install Revision control plugin to limit the number of revisions. You can also limit the number of revisions by adding this code to WP-config file.

define( ‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, Number of revisions you want to save);

If you do not want this feature at all, you can disable it completely by adding this code to WP-config.php.

define( ‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, false);

Delete Spam Comments

Delete spam comments and pending comments which use a lot of space in your database. By default, they are automatically deleted after 30 days but will take a lot of rows in WP_comments table. Install Anti-Spam plugin that will eliminate spam comments to the least. There are a lot of good anti-spam plugins, which include ‘Akismet and Anti-Spam by clean Talk. Since spammers target older articles, reduce spam comments by disabling the comments on older articles. You can change settings in discussion settings page in WordPress admin panel. Protect your website from hackers and scan your website every week for hidden malware.

GZIP

GZIP reduces file size up to 60% which is sent from your server and increases the speed of your site. When someone tries to access your website, it requests your server to deliver the files required to load the page. Bigger the file size, longer the time it will take to get to your browser. It compresses both web pages as well as style sheets and reduces the time to load. There are multiple plugins that will enable GZip compression like GZip Ninja Speed Compression. You can enable gzip in your wordpress site by replacing gzip compression value to 1 in wp-admin/options.php and add the following code to .htaccess.

## BEGIN Enable GZIP Compression ##
<IfModule mod_deflate.c>
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-httpd-php
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-httpd-fastphp
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/svg+xml
SetOutputFilter DEFLATE
</IfModule>
## END Enable GZIP Compression ##

    GZip code

Add Lazy Loading to Images

Adding lazy load to your site will delay images load time below the fold of a page. When a visitor scrolls down, images will begin to load and it saves bandwidth and speeds up WordPress site. You can install plugins like Lazy Load to speed up your site.

Deactivate Unused Plugins

A lot of plugins in WordPress increase the size of WordPress database, and also increases load When you activate all plugins, they will create a lot of junk files and slow down your website speed. Activate the plugins only when required. If you are using a plugin rarely like WP Smush(which helps you to optimize images) then disable it and use whenever you need. In this way, you can speed up WordPress site and also helps you to reduce the load on the server.

Disable Hotlinking

Image theft/Bandwidth theft are considered as Hotlinking. It happens when other websites link images on your site in their articles without your knowledge and this will create server load because the image is loaded from your server and also uses your site’s bandwidth . So, every time a person visits their site, the image is loaded from your server which slows down your site. You can avoid this by adding the following code to .htaccess.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^$
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} !^http(s)?://(www\.)?Your-Site.com [NC]
RewriteRule \.(jpg|jpeg|png|gif)$ – [NC,F,L]

    Hotlinking code

Disable Pingbacks and Trackbacks

Pingbacks and Trackbacks will alert you when your blog or web page receives a link from other blogs. These were used in the past, but currently are being abused by spammers. Pingbacks and Trackbacks use a lot of server resources in order to work. You can speed up the WordPress site by disabling them. You can disable Pingbacks and Trackbacks in discussion settings.

pingbacks and trackbacks

Minify your JavaScript and CSS files

Minify is a process of removing unnecessary characters from the codes such as spaces, comments, new lines and tabs to reduce the size. There are a lot of online tools which could be used to minify your files. You can use W3 Total Cache or WP fastest Cache which have the options to automatically minify CSS and JavaScript files. CSS Minifier can help you to minify CSS from your CSS code. Paste your code in input CSS and minify. Copy minified output and paste it back in your site to speed up your website.

CSS Minifier

Plugins to optimize WordPress database

WP Clean Up

WP Clean Up helps you to remove unwanted data from WordPress database and allows you to delete revisions, drafts, auto drafts, spam comments, trash comments, and offers a lot more to speed up wordPress site.

WP-Optimize

WP-Optimize removes post revisions, auto drafts, spam comments, unapproved comments, transients, pingbacks and trackbacks and optimizes WordPress tables.

WP-DBManager

WP-DBManager allows you to optimize, repair, backup and restore WordPress database automatically. It also allows users to empty and drop tables. If you drop tables without knowing, it will cause a lot of problems to your site. Hence this plugin is only recommended for advanced users.

WP Clean Up Optimizer

WP Clean Up Optimizer cleans up your website without accessing phpMyAdmin. It is used to remove revision drafts, auto drafts, spam comments and trash comments. Advanced options like table deletion and drop tables are present in this plugin. You can enable auto IP block to prevent from hackers.

Plugins to speed up WordPress site

W3 Total Cache

W3 Total Cache This caching plugin will help you to speed up WordPress by increasing server performance and reducing download time to the visitors and helps speed up your site.

WP Performance Score Booster

WP Performance Score Booster This plugin helps you speed up a website by enabling Gzip and removes query strings from static resources. Sets up expire caching which helps you to improve scores in Pingdom, Gtmetrix, PageSpeed insights.

Remove Query Strings

Remove query strings from static resources This helps you to remove query strings from static resources and improves your site speed score in GTmetrix, Pingdom, and Google PageSpeed Insights.

 

Conclusion : Only install those plugins which are required. Optimize your WordPress site every week. If you have any issues, please leave a  comment below and I will try to help you.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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